Hot on the heels of yesterday's striking Vizio Co-Star announcement - a proper Google TV device for $99 that also happens to incorporate the excellent OnLive streaming game service - was Google's big I/O event today. There were several major reveals, including the nifty features of the next version of the Android operating system, Jellybean; the Nexus 7 7" tablet; the Google Nexus Q, a streaming media device that's made in the USA; and Project Glass, Google's upcoming augmented reality glasses. Let's take each one of these in order:
This is a no-brainer positive, with one notable downside. While all of the new features sound excellent, all that excellence will still only be rolled out slowly, if at all, to most Android device owners. Google really has to pressure its partners and others related to their supply chains (carriers among them) to get with the program so the partial myth of device fragmentation can be put to bed once and for all. The reality is it is indeed a problem, especially if you don't take matters into your own hand with rooting and what-not, and one that doesn't have to be as bad as it is in terms of the most popular devices getting updated.
Nexus 7 7" tablet
$199 for the 8GB version and $249 for the 16GB version puts it squarely in competition with the inferior tablets from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Though it would be nice to have even a low quality rear camera, I can't think of too many flaws with this device, making it a superb budget alternative to Apple's dominant iPad. Frankly if the masses don't respond to the Nexus 7, then we can well and truly call it an iPad market, or a market that can only be lulled into a purchase with a familiar eco-system like Amazon's. My money is on this particular tablet being the first pure Android tablet success story. Where Google is able to go from there, though, is anyone's guess, but certainly Microsoft should be taking notes for their Surface line.
Google Nexus Q
This is a $299 streaming media orb that has an optional matching pair of speakers for $399. Yeah, those are the prices, and, despite being made in the USA, is way, way overpriced, especially in light of similarly featured (or even higher featured) competition like the Apple TV, Roku, Xbox 360, PS3, and the aforementioned Vizio Co-Star, among many others. This thing is dead on arrival in my opinion.
I was predicting at the most optimistic late 2013, early 2014 as the earliest for consumers to get these digital glasses, and I think I was about right. $1500 gets developers only (in fact, developers only at the I/O event) early access later in the year, but I suspect this slow roll-out is not only to build up the necessary eco-system and reveal additional issues and bugs, but also to give Google more time to work on improving consumer friendliness, in particular battery life, which will need to last all day between charges. Purely my opinion of course, but I see the battery issue as being the biggest challenge, though who knows if the $1500 price tag is just just a combination barrier to entry/low production run, or much more time will be needed to bring it down to a more consumer friendly price point as well (say, $299 at the most).
Agree with you on pretty much all of it. All i can see is the Nexus 7... all the companies that gambled on Andorid tablets and are trying to bail themsleves out a tiny bit by dropping that $500 tablet to $200 and Google goes.. sorry guys.. your going to be selling those things for $50 while we introduce something else. I like my android stuff, I like its business model and how its anybodys game to improve (or uninprove).. but man.. Amazons FIRE and now this.. all those guys who tried and failed to balance the tablet wars out.. are really OUT alot of cash.. I know they went in with eyes wide open, and google cant sit around at all if it wasnt to gain in this area.. but its just so sad for all those guys who tired and failed.. the money gone. And now this.. those closeouts are going to be getting into throw away prices soon...I can see one upside.. throw away prices will draw even the most jaded users in for a peak.. it may drive up some sales of the future stuff.
The Vizo box is a real... interesting thing.. I picked up my ROKU box pretty muach when they came out loved that thng, simple.. whne it died i switched to a SONY one.. hated it, tried a WD one too.. sucked.. With interfaces being done so wonderfull right now.. I just cant get why some companies cant figure out ease of use is KEY! that sony player wanted a code, it showed pictures and averything in the instructions, problem was it was for an older model.. A call to SONY didnt help they had no clue. Google and a lone post in a forum was aobut a guy finding it (the code was there all along it was just not called the same thing the manual said).. when a tech guy is having issues, can you imagin the average person.. that SONY player took sighing up for some obscure sony service to set it up even.. WTH!!!!!
I would really like to see a plug in card for a PC with ROKU like abilities.. Yes i know 99% is avilible in web apps.. but running some of the old Xbox stuff for media or several of the PC alternatives with a Hardware box dealing with inputs and outputs (more then anything) would neat. I never thought I would join the CABLE TV free.. but with the move ot the new house I'm getting basic for football and Nascar.. and screw the rest.. Netflix and torrents.
First nexus (4 actually) arrived in software today, we tested it (benchmarked) against the Ipad2 and "new Ipad" wow! on ANYTHING multi core its neck and neck.. even graphics wise its "as good".. wow, and wow again.. To bad first gen tablets (both ipad and android) where singel core.. to keep apps Compatible alot of devs wont bother with mulitcore. Single core speed.. about eh same as the Ipad 1.. 30% slower then the ipad2. Good news is the Adroid app makers seem to adjuste to smulit core alot faster then the Apple ones have (alot more Ipad 1's still in use then the early crap Andorid tablets) $200 that does what $700 does. This thing makes the Kindle Fire look like ... well junk. I have never been much intersted in the tablets, and even less in teh "smaller" ones.. but this thing will fit in cargo pants pocket, is light enough unless your jogging or working it wont be a big deal.. battery life.. not ot sure but we set one up and ran about a 2 hour movie and its still at 82%.. the 9 to 10 hours looks correct, but that I wont know till itits actually tested for that amount of hours. screen wise even compared ot the new Ipad it looks good.. it snto so high res, but stuff like text and such looks awsome on it.. and when it get sto a point that extra missing res shows.. heck its to small to see anyways. The screen looked good but i think when compared side by side.. there is a difference.. side by side apple wins.. simple but true.. but in practical use i challange anybody to really care except when they are side by side. I was simply impressed , this thing is $200 to start ($225 i think in 16gb models) I would still pick a THrive or New Xoom 10" when they are on sale vor $250 over it.. but they are both dicounted.. this one is going to get cheaper too.. I WILL HAVE one if they get int he $150 ish area..
I still not sure i need this with a phone already (i wont carry both) and if I'm going to carry a tablet its going to be 10".. but for anybody remotly intersted in a 7".. a kindle fire or just getting into the tablet market at a cheap price.. Take a LOOK.. I was impressed by speed and such.. but if your in no hurry.. wait a bit.. apple is suposed to be introducing a 7" tablet in a couple months (the rumore mills state) so you can compare.
Thanks for the impressions, Clok. Yeah, this looks like the first Android tablet genuinely worth having for a variety of reasons, including Jellybean and the $200 starting price point (plus $25 Google Play credit). I'd already have ordered one if I didn't think I wouldn't have time for a third tablet. Right now, I really only use my iPad 2, and just use my TouchPad as an information panel in its dock (weather, mostly). I also have a Kindle e-Ink device that I got for dirt cheap from Amazon when they had a sale (I think I paid $59) not too long ago, and don't really touch that either.
oh.. i should have put it in my littel review.. it was a very SHORT and non professional assesment.. just very quick comparasions..